The risk of a first acute myocardial infarction (MI) is more than doubled for inactive adults with diabetes compared to those without the disease, a study suggests.
Acute myocardial infarction is common referred to as a heart attack, with its link to diabetes investigated in a prospective study – known as the HUNT study – conducted in Nord-Trondelag County, Norway.
55,534 participants were evaluated in the large, population-based health survey. HUNT2 is the second wave of the study. People aged 20 or over from the country were invited to participate, with 70 per cent agreeing.
They underwent clinical examinations and completed questionnaires, conducted by hospital admission registries and the Cause of Death Registry, which took place between 1995 and 1997. Participants were assessed until diagnosis of a first acute MI, or when the study finished on December 31, 2008.
Body Mass Index (BMI), medical history, physical activity and smoking status were among the variables assessed, with blood pressure and blood samples taken before being tested for total cholesterol and glucose.
Acute MI cases
During a 12-year follow-up, 1,887 cases of acute MIs were identified. Inactive participants with diabetes had a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.37 when compared to inactive participants without diabetes.
Participants with type 1 and type 2 diabetes that were of normal weight had an HR of 1.6, with the results suggesting an increased risk of acute MI due to diabetes and inactivity of 1.43.
“The results from this prospective cohort study showed that inactive people with diabetes had a more than twofold increased risk of a first [acute] MI when compared with inactive people without diabetes. This excess risk was cancelled out in people with diabetes who reported a high physical activity level,” the researchers concluded.

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